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Kerala High Court directs state to prevent govt employees from joining strike

  The Kerala High Court on Monday directed the LDF administration to forthwith issue orders preventing its employees from abstaining from duty as part of the two-day nationwide strike. The court said government servants should not engage in any concerted or organised slowdown of work.
A Bench of Chief Justice S Manikumar and Justice Shaji P Chaly directed the State to also issue orders enabling the operation of vehicles so that employees can report for duty.
The directions came on a plea by a lawyer—Chandra Chooden Nair S—alleging that the government was aiding and assisting the strike on March 28 and 29 by permitting leave with salary to its employees taking part in it instead of declaring ‘dies non’ (no work, no pay).
In his petition, Nair sought ensuring compulsory attendance of the employees, disciplinary action against those abstaining from work and a declaration that the strike was unconstitutional.
The court issued notice to the Centre and the State seeking their stand.
The State, represented by Advocate General (AG) K Gopalakrishna Kurup, contended that the plea was delayed as the strike was called for in February and the trade unions who called for the strike have not been made a party and if any employee abstains from work in violation of service rules, disciplinary action can be taken.
He urged the court not to issue any interim order prohibiting the government staff from participating in the strike.